Love Overlooks Offenses
By Rick Warren
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)
When you’re dealing with people who are offensive or irritating, you need to look past the behavior to the pain.
Everything we do is motivated by something. When people hurt others, it’s because they’re hurting on the inside. Hurt people hurt people.
The more you understand about other people’s backgrounds, the more grace you’ll show them. Think of a person you find to be difficult or irritating. You probably know nothing about their background, so you don’t cut them any slack.
You don’t know that maybe they lost their parents at a young age. You don’t know that maybe they were molested. You don’t know that they’ve gone through two marriages and their spouse just walked out on them. You don’t know their story, and that’s part of why you’re not showing them any grace.
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:11, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (NIV). It’s easy to take offense from people you find difficult. But when you’re wise, you don’t get offended easily. Why? Because wisdom gives you patience.
When you patiently take the time to understand someone’s background, you understand the stress they’re under—and it’s easier to show grace. Your understanding gives you patience to overlook the offense.
What I’m talking about here is real love. In fact, the Bible says refusing to be offended by other people is actually an act of mature love. The more love you have in your heart, the harder it is for someone to personally offend you. The less love you have in your heart, the more insecure you feel and the easier it is to offend you.
Proverbs 10:12 says, “Love overlooks the wrongs that others do” (CEV). The more you’re filled with love, the less you’ll be upset when people are demanding, demeaning, or disapproving.
When you encounter a difficult person, remember to do this: Look past the behavior to the pain. Then refuse to be offended and, instead, respond in love.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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